2020 Results

A


Amazon

Google

T-Mobile

Hyundai

Cheetos

Facebook

Bud Light

Budweiser

Jeep

SodaStream

B


Avocados from Mexico

Reese's Take 5

Quicken Loans

Doritos

Michael Bloomberg

Walmart

Coca Cola

Hummer

Mountain Dew

New York Life

Michelob Ultra

Hulu

Pepsi

Porsche

C


Discover

Microsoft

Little Caesars

Toyota

Poptarts

Quibi

Tide

Planters

Genesis

Verizon

Snickers

TurboTax

Xfinity

WeatherTech

P&G

Turkish Airlines

Donald J. Trump

Sabra

D


Audi

Olay

Kia

Heinz

Pringles

Squarespace

Hard Rock Cafe

F


2019 Results

A


Microsoft

The Washington Post

Expensify

Bumble

Google

Amazon

Pepsi

B


Bubly

Devour

Olay

T-Mobile

Hyundai

Stella Artois

Bud Light

Pringles

Mercedes

Planters

M&M's

C


Audi

Budweiser

Wix.com

Verizon

Skechers

Bon & Viv

Intuit TurboTax

Doritos

Persil

Colgate

NFL

WeatherTech

Michelob Ultra

Norwegian Cruise Line

Toyota

Kia

D


SimpliSafe

Mint Mobile

Turkish Airlines

Sprint

Avocados from Mexico

F


Burger King

2018 Results

A


Amazon

Mountain Dew

Doritos

Avocados from Mexico

Tide

Wendy's

B


M&Ms

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans

Budweiser

Sprint

Groupon

Australia Tourism

Jeep

Pringles

Verizon

Bud Light

Hyundai

Pepsi

eTrade

Water.org/Stella Artois

Wix

C


Universal

Turkish Airlines

ZzzQuil

Modelo

Febreze

Toyota

Michelob Ultra

RAM

Coke

Kraft

Turbotax

Lexus

KIA Stinger

Intuit

Monster

Persil

D


Skechers

Blacture

Heroes Arena

WeatherTech

F


Squarespace

T-Mobile

2017 Results

A


Mr. Clean

Bai

Febreze

Google Home

Skittles

Ford

Audi

B


KIA

Avocados from Mexico

T-Mobile

TurboTax

Bud Light

Tide

Sprite

Wendy's

It's a 10

Anheuser-Busch

Busch Beer

Coca-Cola

Amazon Echo

SoFi

Proactiv

Sprint

King's Hawaiian

Mercedes Roadster

Honda

C


Buick

Samsung

KFC

Fiji

Snickers

Airbnb

Persil

WeatherTech

Michelob Extra

Turkish Airlines

Wonderful Pistachios

Alfa Romeo

Nintendo Switch

Squarespace

Yellow Tail

Lexus

Mobile Strike

Intel

Wix

H&R Block

Life Wtr

D


Michelin

GoDaddy

Evony

84 Lumber

American Petroleum Institute

World of Tanks

F

2016 Results

A B C D F
Audi

Budweiser

Doritos

T-Mobile

Toyota

TurboTax
Advil

Amazon

Colgate

Dollar Shave Club

Fit Bit

Heinz

Hyundai

Jeep

Kia

Mini Cooper

Marmot

PayPal

Quicken Loans

Schick

Shock Top

Snickers

Subaru

Taco Bell

Wix.com
Axe

Avocados from Mexico

Butterfingers

Coca Cola

Death Wish Coffee

Honda

Michelob

Mobile Strike

Mountain Dew

OIC

Pepsi

Pokemon

Skittles

Weather Tech

Xifaxan
Acura

Apartments.com

Buick

Jublia

LG

Persil

SoFi

SunTrust
Squarespace

2016 Super Bowl Advertising

By Tim Calkins and Derek D. Rucker

Super Bowl 50 was a remarkable event for advertisers. Brands were reported to be paying $5 million or more to run spots during the game.

Overall, it was an impressive collection of advertising. Many of the spots had strong branding and communicated a benefit. Compared to last year, there was a notable, competitive tone. We also saw fewer ads with broad general themes and more spots with pointed messages.

Still, some ads worked better than others. Like the Super Bowl, there are winners and losers.

Every year, a panel of MBA students gathers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to review every single Super Bowl ad as it airs. The group evaluates the ads for effectiveness, not just entertainment, focusing on this important question: Can the spot build the brand and grow the business?

What follows are the top and bottom ads from the 2016 Super Bowl, as ranked by the Kellogg panel.

The Best Spots (Grade A):

Toyota:

Toyota’s Prius ad took the top prize this year. The ad managed to do two things: Tell an engaging story and communicate a product benefit. As important, the branding was clear. This spot was all about the Prius. The car wasn’t part of the story; it was the heart of the ad.

This was the first ad for Prius since 2005 and Toyota won the Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review that year, too.

T Mobile:

It was hard to miss T-Mobile. The cellular provider ran two excellent ads during the game, and these spots stood out from the pack for several reasons.

First, the branding was exceptionally strong. These were clearly ads for T-Mobile. This is due, in part, to its distinctive pink color.

T-Mobile also communicated a clear message. These were hard-hitting ads aimed at differentiating the brand from established competitors.

Last, the spots were creative. T-Mobile used Drake in a clever fashion, and the Steve Harvey ad capitalized on his Miss America goof.

Doritos:

According to Frito-Lay, this is the last year of the “Crash the Super Bowl” event. It isn’t clear why the company is ending it. Once again, the contest delivered funny spots with strong branding and a clear benefit.

You can see one of their ads here.

TurboTax:

Anthony Hopkins stole the show in the light-hearted TurboTax ad. The entire ad revolved around one key point: TurboTax is free.

The branding was very clear, and the ad revolved around the fact that Hopkins was indeed promoting TurboTax. This clever and unexpected creative idea left an impression.

Budweiser/Bud Light:

This year, Budweiser took a different approach to the Super Bowl. The brand didn’t run a sweet spot featuring the Clydesdale horses. There were no puppies. Instead, Budweiser ran a tough, competitive ad proclaiming that it is not backing down.

Bud Light used Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen in a clever spot that promoted the Bud Light Party.

Budweiser also ran a charming spot with Helen Mirren, reminding people not to drink and drive. As she noted, “Don’t be a pillock.” Note: Pillock means stupid person.

All of these ads were distinctive and had strong branding. The team at AB InBev knows how to create strong Super Bowl spots.

Audi:

Audi was one of the few brands to take a serious tone this year, and the spot scored well with the Kellogg panel.

The product benefit came through: Audi is a high performance car that delivers a remarkable driving experience. It can transform you.

We were not surprised that Audi did not focus the Super Bowl ad on diesel engines or clean technology.

Very Good Spots (Grade B):

Snickers:

There is a lot of pressure to create a new spot for the Super Bowl; people love fresh creative ideas.

It is impressive, then, that Snickers managed to remain distinct while using the same basic concept that has been promoting for years: you are not your best self when you are hungry.

It is hard not to like the Snicker’s Super Bowl spot. It gets your attention and clearly communicates a benefit consistent with the brand’s equity. The ad is entertaining. Most important, the creative idea is uniquely Snickers. By embracing an existing creative approach, the brand is able to own a particular type of commercial.

PayPal:

The 2016 Super Bowl featured a host of financial brands. This was a change. Most years, financial players steer clear. We suspect it is because the Super Bowl is a light, festive occasion, not ideally suited to serious messages about managing funds.

PayPal stood out for a strong spot highlighting the difference between old money and new money. The message was very clear. The creative was attention-getting. Branding came through.

Critically though, if you don’t know anything about PayPal, this spot didn’t really help you. Is PayPal like Bitcoin? For people who know and use PayPal, however, the ad elevated the brand and established it as a leader.

Mini Cooper:

One of the most engaging pre-game efforts was from Mini. The brand ran of series of vignettes with remarkable people such as Tony Hawk and Abby Wambach explaining how they had defied labels in their lives.

Mini’s Super Bowl spot embraced this idea; the ad focused on often incorrect labels people give to Minis.

Branding was exceptionally strong - the car was on the screen the entire time - but the benefits were not prominently featured. The ad told us the incorrect labels but didn’t spend much time on the correct ones.

Hyundai:

Hyundai was one of the big spenders in the Super Bowl this year, running a series of spots before and during the game.

Hyundai’s two Super Bowl ads scored well with the Kellogg panel. The branding was good and there was a reason to buy the product. “The Chase” spot was particularly powerful; it attracted attention and highlighted a product feature: talk-start.

Taco Bell:

To roll out the new Quesalupa, a cheesy flat bread, Taco Bell ran a dynamic spot with strong branding. The key line, “This is going to be bigger than….” The fast-moving spot attracted attention. One of us pre-ordered the Quesalupa and tried it on Saturday. It was delicious.

Jeep:

Fiat-Chrysler focused its Super Bowl efforts this year on the Jeep brand with two ads saluting Jeep’s 75th anniversary.

The ads were big, epic spots and stood out for their unique tone. They attracted attention and had strong branding.

The team at Fiat-Chrysler knows how to build a brand. These spots did an impressive job highlighting why Jeep is so special.

Amazon:

To display the capabilities of the Echo, Amazon rolled out a spot with four celebrities: Dan Marino, Alec Baldwin, Jason Schwartzman, and Missy Elliot.

This ad could have been a mess - there was a lot going on - but the spot actually worked well. The Echo played a critical role in the spot, making it a product-focused piece of advertising.

Heinz:

Everyone loves wiener-dogs. The Heinz ad, featuring a pack of these characters, dramatized how much hot dogs love ketchup. It builds off the new mustard campaign as well.

The ad certainly broke through the clutter; it was the only spot with these interesting characters. It also had solid branding.

Kraft-Heinz has been through a rough stretch, with massive layoffs and disruption following a series of acquisitions and restructuring projects. This ad showed the company in a positive light. It worked.

Colgate:

One of the few serious ads was a spot for Colgate that ran late in the game.

The message: Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. If you leave the water on, you waste valuable water that many people really need.

It isn’t entirely clear how this message will drive sales of Colgate products. Was it worth the $5 million investment over other venues? Perhaps the goal is to show that Colgate is industry leader and socially responsible company. That could enhance the brand. It scored well with the Kellogg panel.

Dollar Shave Club:

Internet sensation Dollar Shave Club ran its first Super Bowl ad this year.

The spot highlighted how razors get old, dull, and dirty over time, and then it positioned Dollar Shave Club as the solution. The logic is a bit of a stretch, but the spot worked well overall.

As the ad unfolded, we wondered for a moment if it was an ad for Gillette, trying to build the overall category by getting people to switch their blades more often.

Schick:

Schick took aim at Gillette with its Super Bowl spot. The spot highlighted its hydrating gel reservoir that reduces friction and irritation better than the competition. The ad dismissed the Gillette product with, “Sorry, little blue strip.”

This is effectively designed advertising. The branding is clear, it gets your attention, and there is both a benefit and an attribute.

Advil:

One of the surprise advertisers on the Super Bowl was Advil; the brand didn’t reveal that it was running an ad before the game.

The Advil spot worked well. Branding was strong and the message that Advil prevents pain came across.

It is all too easy to over-think Super Bowl advertising and create spots that are confusing and hard to follow. Advil went with a spot that was direct and clear.

Marmot:

To highlight the joys of being outside, Marmot featured a cuddly marmot character.

The branding worked here because the ad used a marmot, which is also the name of the company. The message came through.

While the Kellogg panel liked this spot, we wonder about the strategy. Encouraging people to get outside will build the overall category, and that will help Marmot, but the impact will be modest. Perhaps this ad positions Marmot as a category leader. It certainly didn’t say much about the product.

Kia:

One of the great moments in Super Bowl 50 was Christopher Walken’s lecture about beige socks. As he explained, “Eventually the beige sock people get lost or devoured by the ones who stand out.” That is an important message. Who wants to be a beige sock? It certainly is true in the world of branding. The beige socks aren’t noticed. Beige socks are not great brands.

Still, there is a bit of a reason to believe problem in this spot. Is driving a Kia really a way to avoid being a beige sock?

Shock Top:

Selling beer is a curious business. Talking about the product doesn’t really work; there is only so much you can say about hops and barley. A lot of beer marketing revolves around the brand. You need to build a brand people want to be associated with.

That explains why the strange spot from Shock Top worked. TJ Miller gets into a discussion with a Shock Top beer tap. They don’t discuss the beer; they just trade insults.

The branding in this spot is strong, and it highlights Shock Top’s quirky character. It will boost sales, which is what a Super Bowl spot is supposed to do.

Fit Bit:

To promote the new Fit Bit Blaze, the brand ran a spot that connected everyday life with athletic moments. The idea of fitness came through along with the brand. This Super Bowl spot will reinforce Fit Bit’s core positioning, and it will get people thinking about their new watch product.

Quicken Loans:

We love laddering up, taking a simple attribute and connecting it to more significant benefits. That is what Quicken Loans does in its Super Bowl spot. The attribute is Rocket Mortgage, a new product that lets people get a mortgage completely online. The benefit is more home ownership, more furniture purchases and ultimately a better world.

This spot works well. The focus is on branding and benefits. The only problem is that the product gets a little lost. Can I really take out a mortgage on my phone? How is that going to work?

Good Ads: Grade C

Honda:

In 2012, VW ran one of the most loved Super Bowl spots of all time. The “Vader” ad featured a small boy dressed up as Darth Vader who was shocked when he seemed to start the family car. The VW remote start feature made it all possible.

Honda used a similar approach this year: Develop a charming spot and communicate a product feature. In this case, the charm came from a group of singing sheep. The feature was the truck-bed music system available in the new Honda Ridgeline.

Mountain Dew:

The award for most disturbing character this year goes to Mountain Dew’s puppy-monkey-baby. The creation was a combination of three great things: The Budweiser puppy, the E-Trade baby, and the Career Builder monkey. Mountain Dew’s new drink is also a combination of three great things: Mountain Dew, juice, and caffeine.

It is difficult to love the puppy-monkey-baby, but the spot has its strengths. It gets your attention, stands out, and communicates a reason to buy the product.

Death Wish Coffee and QuickBooks:

For sheer surprise, it is hard to top the spot from Death Wish Coffee. It was a stunning spot full of drama that came to an unexpected end.

We believe this ad will generate business Death Wish. We wonder if the brand will be able to keep up with orders and whether it will be able to turn this sudden jump in awareness into a meaningful long-term business.

The spot is also a success for QuickBooks. The Small Business-Big Game contest received more than 15,000 entries. This level of engagement and excitement can help reinforce the QuickBooks brand with small business owners.

Weather Tech:

We like to imagine that advertisers read our work religiously, value our advice and incorporate our recommendations.

Unfortunately, that clearly isn’t the case. Some companies make the same mistakes year after year, ignoring our recommendations.

Weather Tech is one of those firms. This is the company’s third year advertising on the Super Bowl. Last year and the year before, we highlighted the importance of clearly establishing what the product is (frame of reference) and why someone should buy it (benefit). So what did the company do this year? Ignore our advice and run a spot that fails to establish a frame or communicate a benefit.

We have a lot of respect for Weather Tech’s commitment to brand building and willingness to invest in Super Bowl advertising. We just wish the company would stop running spots that don’t communicate a positioning.

Other Grade C Ads:

Pepsi, Axe, Avocados from Mexico, OIC, Coke, Skittles, Mobile Strike, Michelob, Xifaxan, Butterfinger and Pokemon.

Lower Grades (Grades D and F):

SoFi (D):

California-based lender SoFi aired its first Super Bowl spot this year. The ad focused on distinguishing between people who are “great: and people who are not.

This is the heart of SoFi’s strategy. The firm lends to people who are excellent credit risks, and it offers low rates. It is a savvy strategy.

The spot was light on branding, and it focused more on the great/not great question than the ultimate benefit: exceptionally low rates.

SunTrust (D):

SunTrust didn’t set out to win the popularity polls with its Super Bowl ads, nor did it. The brand ran a fairly serious spot highlighting financial stress and encouraging people to seek help to relieve it.

This is an important message, and it will build the SunTrust brand. We suspect it is unlikely to spark a jump in deposit or loan volume, and running a national spot for a regional bank is a questionable decision.

Still, the Super Bowl effort can build awareness. It may also motivate employees and build loyalty.

LG (D):

To promote its new line of televisions, LG partnered with director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner and The Martian) to create a striking, bold spot.

The story is engaging and draws you in with striking imagery. Aspects of it are beautiful. The problem is linkage; it isn’t clear how this exciting story relates to LG televisions.

Scott directed Apple’s 1984 spot. The LG ad does not appear to be on track to receive similar acclaim.

Apartments.com (D):

There was a lot to like in the spot from Apartments.com. The music was wonderful, and Jeff Goldblum was charming. The ad attracted attention and was unique.

So what happened?

The problem here is simple: Positioning. Apartments.com didn’t set up a frame of reference or provide an attribute. What does this company do? Does it own apartment buildings? Is it a website where people post rentals? Why is it uniquely good? These are important questions that this otherwise appealing spot doesn’t answer.

Acura (D):

The challenge for auto brands is distinction. With so many auto brands advertising on the Super Bowl, you have to do something unique.

This is where the Acura spot has trouble. The ad is appealing enough, but it blends in. It is one of those spots that is hard to remember, and probably better suited for a non-Super Bowl buy. What did Acura run, anyway?

Persil (D):

Persil is a new laundry detergent brand attacking well-entrenched competitor Tide from P&G. To steal share, Persil needed a compelling Super Bowl spot. It had to introduce the brand and communicate a clear reason to switch.

The spot didn’t work very well. It was too short, just 15 seconds. It also wasn’t compelling. Apparently Persil has some good test results; we are confident that Tide has some good test results, too.

We anticipate Persil won’t last long in the U.S. market. If you’d like to try it, move quickly.

Jublia (D):

One can debate the merits of advertising a toenail fungus medication on the Super Bowl. Regardless, this spot doesn’t work particularly well. The core problem is that it is hard to follow. In the spot, a fellow somehow discovers Deion Sanders and Howie Long relaxing in a spa. The discussion then moves right to toenail fungus, Jublia, and the obligatory side-effects.

This ad makes little sense.

Squarespace (F):

Last year, the Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review panel put Squarespace at the bottom of the list. The brand ran an ad that was confusing and hard to follow.

This year, Squarespace ran another Super Bowl ad and finished at the bottom of the list again. Once again, the Squarespace execution was confusing and hard to follow.

It will be interesting to see if Squarespace can keep the trend going in 2017.

2015 Results

A B C D F
Always (P&G)

Budweiser

Clash of Clans

Coca-Cola

FIAT

McDonald's
Avocados from Mexico

BMW

Discover

Dodge

Doritos

Dove Men+Care

Kia

Mercedes-Benz

Microsoft

Mophie

Skittles

T-Mobile

TurboTax

Victoria's Secret

Wix
Carnival

Ecuador

Esurance

Game of War: Fire Age

GoDaddy

Jeep

JUBLIA

Loctite

Nationwide

NO MORE

REDD's Apple Ale

Sprint

Snickers

Toyota

WeatherTech

Weight Watchers
GEICO

Nissan

Skechers

Lexus

Heroes Charge
Squarespace

McDonald’s Makes Winning Play at 2015 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review

Squarespace, Lexus and Heroes Charge Miss the Mark

The 2015 Super Bowl featured serious, emotional advertising. While the event usually tends to skew more towards humor, this year great humor was in shorter supply.

Overall the advertising was strong. Marketers are clearly focusing on creating spots that will resonate broadly and that appear to have heeded important strategic objectives

Still, this year had its highs and lows of advertising. This year almost 70 Kellogg MBA students evaluated all the spots with an emphasis on strategic rigor. What is meant by strategic rigor? The panel’s focus was not on liking or disliking of the ads; the focus was on the following question: Does the execution have the potential to build the brand and the business?

Here are the results.

Grade: A

McDonalds (Watch the ad here)

McDonalds has struggled in recent years, but this year the brand delivered a very strong spot. The ad, featuring a promotion that let people to pay with love instead of cash, was heart-warming. Brand linkage was particularly strong; it was impossible to miss that this was an ad for McDonalds.

Fixing McDonalds is more difficult than creating a strong Super Bowl spot but this is a good first step.

Bud and Bud Light (Watch the ad here)

AB InBev ran three very strong spots this year.

The Budweiser Clydesdale spot was a classic. The ad told a sweet story about a puppy and his relationship with the horses. As in the past, branding, linkage and distinction were all strong.

Budweiser also ran an ad attacking craft beers, mocking aspects such as their fruity flavors. This is classic defensive strategy, which takes ample finesse to pull off, but Bud presented a credible message.

Bud Light send another unsuspecting fellow on a remarkable trip in this year’s “up for whatever” spot. The ad was also marked by clear branding.

AB InBev knows how to create great Super Bowl ads, especially when it comes to the art of making sure the branding comes across.

Coca-Cola (Watch the ad here)

Coke did a terrific job connecting its brand promise of happiness with a significant issue in the world: negative on-line comments. The spot had exceptionally strong branding, built upon earlier campaigns on happiness, and broke through the clutter on the Super Bowl.

Always (Watch the ad here)

P&G ran an unusual spot for the Always brand. The ad featured interviews with adults and kids about the phrase “like a girl” and asked people to consider why “like a girl” isn’t positive. The ad, which also featured a longer version posted earlier on You Tube, broke through the Super Bowl clutter. It was exceptionally distinctive and engaging. This pulled people in. Despite the limited and late branding the spot worked.

Clash of Clans (Watch the ad here)

It isn’t easy to advertise a video game on TV. Clash of Clans pulled it off with a terrific spot featuring Liam Neeson. The ad captured his fascination with the game and did it in an engaging fashion. The positioning also really came through.

Grade: B

BMW

BMW had, without a doubt, the most remarkable piece of footage on the game. The clip of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel talking about the internet twenty-one years ago was absolutely fabulous. It is remarkable how far we have come.

The concept of this ad was good but the execution was a little off. The spot compared the internet to i3, BMW’s new electric car. This wasn’t quite right; the comparison should have been to an electric car or perhaps done something to talk about the advanced aspects of the internet to i3. Also missing was the BMW equity; Katie and Bryant certainly weren’t enjoying the ultimate driving experience.

Victoria’s Secret

You don’t need to spend millions creating a Super Bowl spot. Victoria’s Secret pieced together some old footage and created a very successful ad. Branding was clear, the benefit came through and the ad fit with Victoria’s Secret’s equity.

Turbo Tax

The second ad in the Super Bowl, for Turbo Tax stood out. The ad featured scenes from the Revolutionary War and hypothesized that if the colonists could have filed their taxes for free, as they now can with Turbo Tax, then perhaps they never would have revolted.

The ad was distinctive and communicated a benefit: you can file for free with Turbo Tax.

Doritos

You would think that after so many years of silly Doritos ads they would get old. They have found a means, through crowdsourcing, to keep the work fresh. Doritos ran two spots, developed through the Crash the Super Bowl promotion, and both worked well. Branding was strong. More important, Doritos featured prominently in the ad.

The team at Frito-Lay deserves credit for sticking with a winning formula.

Wix.com

Website provider Wix takes the prize for using the most NFL players in one spot. The brand’s ad showed a series of players building websites. Brett Favre, for example, builds the site “Favre and Carve.” It actually is a website: http://www.favreandcarve.com/

Wix had strong branding and communicated a benefit. Wix is easy enough for NFL players can use it to build a site, so you can use it too.

Dove

Three advertisers saluted fathers during the Super Bowl. Dove did the best job linking this noble message to the brand. The brand’s heart-warming spot focused on caring and linked it to Dove Men+Care, a new line of skin-care products.

Microsoft

Last year Microsoft had one of the strongest spots on the Super Bowl. This year the brand returned and ran two ads saluting the role of technology in the world. Both ads worked well but late branding raised some brand linkage concerns.

Mercedes

Mercedes took the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare to a new level with its Super Bowl spot. The spot worked was solid because the impressive Mercedes vehicle was integral to the story.

Kia

Pierce Bronson starred in a distinctive spot for Kia. When you think Kia, Pierce Bronson isn’t the first person you think of. He would drive a BMW, wouldn’t he? This ad works because it seems credible. Kia has an impressive vehicle. Perhaps it something Pierce would want, after all.

Discover

It is tempting to develop a totally new campaign for the Super Bowl. This is often a mistake; it is risky and you lose the connection to your base campaign. Discover used its existing campaign for its Super Bowl spot this year and this was a successful play. The ad was one of the few that used humor and it communicated a differentiating product feature about Discover.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s spots did what Super Bowl ads need to. They stood out by featuring celebrities. They communicated benefits: Wi-Fi calling and rollover data. Of the two, the Kardashian spot was better; it had stronger branding and a simpler message.

Avocados from Mexico

Arguably the funniest spot this year was for avocados from Mexico. The scenario: countries are drafting animals. After Australia picks the kangaroo, Mexico picks the avocado, passing by a disappointed polar bear.

The spot was charming and had solid branding. There just wasn’t a lot about the joys of eating avocados.

Mophie

Several years ago Chevrolet ran a spot featuring the end of the world. Mophie used the same creative idea this year to dramatize what happens when your cell phone runs out of juice. The spot was entertaining, with some amusing and distinctive scenes. It also leveraged an insight.

Despite the enjoyment of the spot, a challenge in the Mophie spot was linkage: did the brand come through?

Skittles

This year the award for best product placement goes to Skittles; the Super Bowl broadcast showed Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch eating some before the game.

The brand then ran a solid ad on the Super Bowl with people fighting over the last Skittles.

Dodge

Reaching 100 years old is an accomplishment. To celebrate its 100th year, Dodge interviewed a number of senior citizens. The spot had great breakthrough; it really stood out on the game. Linkage could have been stronger; it wasn’t clear how the words of wisdom related to Dodge. It also isn’t clear if being 100 years old is a reason to buy one brand of car over another. Haven’t most car brands been around for a while?

Grade: C

GoDaddy

GoDaddy had to pull its initial Super Bowl spot last week after people let the company know that they hated it. This clearly was a setback for the firm; GoDaddy ended up airing a spot that didn’t break through and didn’t have much of a benefit.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers dramatized why losing weight is so hard. The spot was distinctive and identified an insight, but branding was weak and it lacked a clear benefit.

Snickers

At one level, it is surprising that Snickers didn’t do better with the Kellogg panel. The ad had many of the key elements: it got attention, showed a benefit and built on an existing campaign. It might be that using a very old show like the Brady Bunch limited the ad’s appeal with regard to amplification and linkage. It has been many, many years since that show received broad viewing.

Loctite

One of the stranger spots on the Super Bowl this year was for Loctite. It featured a collection of ordinary people dancing in an unattractive fashion. They all wore Loctite fanny-packs. It isn’t clear why someone would carry glue in a pouch. Are there different types of glue, so you need a pouch to carry them all? This spot is confusing and unappealing all at the same time.

Still, this spot was distinctive and had solid branding.

Game of War

Game of War’s spot featured Kate Upton. It was visually striking. One potential issue was linkage. It wasn’t clear that this spot was for a video game until the end; it looked a lot like a movie trailer.

Weathertech

Last year Weathertech ran a spot that lacked linkage. The message was about made in the U.S. and didn’t show much of the product.

This year’s spot from Weathertech was better because it was more product-focused. Still, the ad didn’t rise to the top. It may be that “Made in the U.S.” isn’t the most compelling benefit.

Essurance

Essurance ran a spot that was distinctive and unnerving. It lacked a compelling benefit.

Toyota

Toyota saluted fathers and bravery. The brand seemed to have invested heavily in this campaign. Unfortunately, the effort lacked linkage to the brand. How does Toyota link to fathers any more than Chevy or Audi or Kia?

Nationwide

Nationwide ran two very different spots on the Super Bowl. The first featured Mindy Kaling and highlighted that customers aren’t invisible at Nationwide. This spot had some issues: weak linkage and a questionable benefit. Still, it was engaging and stood out.

The brand then ran a spot featuring a deceased child. The goal was to highlight Nationwide’s work preventing accidents, a noble cause. Unfortunately, at best the ad fell flat. A message about a dead child simply is hard to swallow during the Super Bowl, a festive time enjoyed with friends, family, and kids.

Jublia

Pharmaceutical advertising isn’t easy. The FDA requires fair-balance, so any positive message has to be off-set with warnings. Despite this, Jublia came through with a reasonable ad on the Super Bowl. If you have issues with toe fungus, you might want to ask your doctor about Jublia.

Jeep

One of the longest spots on the Super Bowl was for Jeep. This remarkable ninety-second ad showed scenes from all around the world to the tune, “This land is your land.”

The spot was beautiful. It was distinctive and attracted attention. The problem was that the ad was based on a questionable strategy: environmental friendliness. Jeep was hoping to communicate that it has the smallest, lightest SUV, so the environmental impact on this wonderful world would be modest. The logic doesn’t quite hold together. The ad is a great one for the books in terms of the various goals great advertising has to cater to.

Perhaps if Jeep had focused on the joy of exploring this land it would have worked better.

Carnival

This was a beautiful and impactful spot. It featured scenes of cruising and a voice over about the sea from John F. Kennedy.

The ad was distinctive and broke-through the clutter. It also showed cruising in a positive light.

Sprint

Sprint ran one of the hardest-hitting ads on the Super Bowl, essentially saying that Verizon and AT&T were donkeys. The ad communicated a benefit and had solid breakthrough.

NFL

The NFL’s scary spot for domestic abuse was risky but may have ended up having limited impact. The ad ran just before half-time, at a moment when people were focused on the upcoming Katy Perry show. We suspect most people missed the terrifying scene.

Grade: D

Lexus (Watch the ad here)

To stand out on the Super Bowl, you have to be distinctive. Lexus ran two spots that featured cars driving in a dynamic fashion. This isn’t enough to achieve breakthrough on a stage this big.

Nissan (Watch the ad here)

Of the three brands saluting fathers, Nissan was least effective according to the Kellogg panel. The spot, a wistful look at a neglected child, featured a sober message and virtually no linkage. Whether or not people would take away an upbeat message at the end is uncertain. For this reason, the lack of linkage might have been good; connecting this sad tale to Nissan is unlikely to help the brand. Still, overall, not a strong branded message.

Other D grades: Skechers, Geico, Heroes Charge.

Grade: F

Squarespace (Watch the ad here)

Squarespace missed this year with an ad featuring Jeff Bridges. It wasn’t clear what the ad was for or how Squarespace fit in. This creates significant concerns about positioning. The spot, featuring a lot of “ommmm” may have garnered some initial attention, but it needed a big payoff. There wasn’t any.

2014 Results

A B C D F
Microsoft

Cheerios

Heinz

Volkswagen

Butterfinger

Bud/Bud Light
Doritos

Chobani

Hyundai

Chrysler

RadioShack

Kia

Pistachios

M&M

Jeep
Coca-Cola T-Mobile

Sonos

Jaguar

Dannon

TurboTax

Chevrolet

Bank of America

Toyota

Honda

Beats Music

American Family Insurance

H&M
Squarespace

WeatherTech

Maserati

SodaStream

Intuit QuickBooks:

GoldieBlox

GEICO

Axe

Sprint

GoDaddy

CarMax

SUBWAY

Audi
(n/a)

Microsoft Tops 2014 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review

CarMax, SUBWAY and Audi Finish in the Bottom

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 3, 2014) – Microsoft earned top marks for its “Empowering” ad, winning the 10th Annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other 2014 top-ranked advertisers include Cheerios, Heinz, Volkswagen, Butterfinger and Budweiser, while CarMax, SUBWAY and Audi ranked at the bottom.

"Microsoft not only led the ranking, it also embodied the inspirational tone of many of the ads this year,” said Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “This sentiment also was reflected in the Cheerios and Heinz ads, both of which elicited the basic good feelings consumers associate with the brands."

Audi finished at the bottom of the ranking, mainly because the ad featured a somewhat disturbing dog character that overwhelmed the brand. Other ads that fell flat include CarMax and SUBWAY; the CarMax ad was slightly confusing and the SUBWAY spot didn’t have the creativity required to break through the clutter.

“Many advertisers this year used emotion in the Super Bowl spots,” said Derek D. Rucker, Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who also leads the Review. “In some cases, however, the creative idea overshadowed the brand.”

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

“The ad series, such as Wonderful Pistachios and Bud Light, grabbed my attention. I thought it was interesting to see how the ads built off one another to tell a story and reinforce the brand and its message,” added Christine Fraser, one of the 50 Kellogg MBA students who participated in the Ad Review panel.

To learn more about the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/news-events/superbowl.

For more information about the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

2013 Results

A B C D F
Tide

M&M’s

Best Buy

Axe

Wonderful Pistachios

Jeep
Samsung

E*TRADE

Mercedes

Audi

Taco Bell

Speed Stick
Doritos

Oreos

Volkswagen

Got Milk

Skechers

Coca-Cola

Go Daddy

Kia

SodaStream

Gildan

Budweiser

Hyundai

MiO

Dodge

Toyota

Beck’s

Cars.com

Pepsi
Century 21

Calvin Klein

SUBWAY

Lincoln

Blackberry

Go Daddy
(n/a)

Tide Tops 2013 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review

Lincoln, BlackBerry and Go Daddy Lag the Field

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 3, 2013) – Tide earned top marks for its “miracle stain” ad, winning the ninth-annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other top-ranked advertisers for 2013 include M&M’s, Best Buy, Axe, Wonderful Pistachios and Jeep, while BlackBerry and Lincoln ranked at the bottom of the always-anticipated Review.

"Tide really broke through the clutter with a very engaging spot," said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event with a panel of students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands. Tide, M&M’s and Best Buy all did a terrific job connecting engaging spots to product benefits."

This year’s Super Bowl featured several long ads with elaborate stories. The Jeep and Samsung spots did well, earning an A and B grade, respectively, while Dodge finished in the middle of the pack. Another leader was Budweiser’s 60-second Clydesdale promotion, although Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light and Budweiser Black Crown ads did not fare well, pulling the company’s overall ranking down.

BlackBerry finished at the bottom of the ranking due to weak branding and the lack of a compelling benefit. Other advertisers receiving low scores included Century 21, Calvin Klein, Subway, Lincoln and Go Daddy.

"We’ve come to expect Go Daddy to fare poorly in the annual Review, but were surprised at the Lincoln and BlackBerry ads," said Associate Professor of Marketing Derek D. Rucker, who also leads the Review. "Both companies have been struggling as of late and really needed to score a touchdown with their Super Bowl spots. Unfortunately, both fell flat and failed to give consumers a compelling reason to care about their brands."

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

"This was a solid year for Super Bowl advertisers, though we didn't necessarily see any breakthrough spots that will be memorable for years to come," said John Felton, one of 58 Kellogg MBA students who participated on the Ad Review panel.

About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is a premier institution for management education – a global community that believes business can be bravely led, passionately collaborative and world changing. Founded in 1908 and based just outside of Chicago, Kellogg is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the world. The Kellogg School's academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs, the Ph.D. Program, and the non-degree Executive Education Program. The school offers two joint-degree programs: the JD-MBA and the MMM (MBA-MEM). Additionally, the Kellogg School offers an Executive MBA Program in Miami and has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada. To learn more, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

2012 Results

A B C D F
M&M'S

Skechers

Dannon

Honda
E*TRADE

Fiat

Chevy

Kia

Samsung

Chrysler

CareerBuilder
Volkswagen

Bridgestone

Pepsi

Teleflora

Audi

Budweiser

TaxACT

Best Buy

Chase

Acura

H&M

NFL

Coca-Cola Hyundai

MetLife
Lexus

Century 21

GE

Cars.com

Toyota

Cadillac

Hulu

Go Daddy
(n/a)

M&M'S Tops 2012 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review

Student panel finds advertisers stayed in bounds this year

EVANSTON, Ill., (Feb. 5, 2012) – M&M'S earned top marks for its playful "It's That Kind of Party" ad, winning the eighth annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other top-ranked advertisers for 2012 include Skechers and Dannon, while Go Daddy, Cadillac and Hulu ranked at the bottom of the perennial Review.

M&M'S commercial introduced Ms. Brown, a new character, and kept in line with the brand's equity," said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event with a panel of students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands, and M&M'S did this well."

"What's notable about this year versus others is that advertisers played it safe. As a result, we saw fewer standouts, but we also didn't see as many costly mistakes," continued Calkins.

GE and Toyota were among other brands that joined Go Daddy, Cadillac and Hulu at the bottom of the Review.

"There were a number of suggestive ads this year from brands like Fiat, H&M and Teleflora," said Associate Professor of Marketing Derek D. Rucker, who also leads the Review. "We've come to expect it from Go Daddy, but this year there definitely seemed to be more skin in the game."

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

"Overall, there were not many superstars but all the brands avoided big fumbles. Unlike last year's controversial Groupon and HomeAway spots, advertisers steered clear of controversy," added Chris Reynolds, one of 44 Kellogg MBA students who participated on the Ad Review panel.

About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is a premier institution for management education – a global community that believes business can be bravely led, passionately collaborative and world changing. Founded in 1908 and based just outside of Chicago, Kellogg is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the world. The Kellogg School's academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs, the Ph.D. Program, and the non-degree Executive Education Program. The school offers two joint-degree programs: the JD-MBA and the MMM (MBA-MEM). Additionally, the Kellogg School offers an Executive MBA Program in Miami and has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada. To learn more, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

2011 Results

A B C D F
Volkswagen

Chrysler

Doritos

E*TRADE

Mini Cooper

Bridgestone
Audi

CareerBuilder

Snickers (Mars)

Best Buy

Stella Artois

Bud Light/Budweiser
Mercedes-Benz

Cars.com

Coca-Cola

Pepsi Max

CarMax

Teleflora

General Motors

Groupon

Motorola

BMW

Skechers
Kia

Go Daddy

Hyundai

HomeAway
(n/a)

Volkswagen Tops 2011 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, Lipton Brisk Iced Tea Runs Cold

Student panel finds social media, auto ads drive this year’s lineup

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 6, 2011) – Volkswagen earned top marks for its “Beetle” and “Star Wars” ads, winning the seventh annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other top-ranked advertisers for 2011 included Chrysler and Doritos, while Lipton Brisk, HomeAway and Hyundai ranked at the bottom of the much-anticipated Review.

“This was definitely the year of the auto and it was reflected with the panel’s top two advertisers being automakers – Volkswagen and Chrysler,” said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event with a panel of students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands.”

Armed with that strategic framework in mind, Kellogg MBA students gave the top ranking to Volkswagen because it drove home its strong branding with clever creative. Volkswagen edged out fellow “A” grade advertisers Chrysler, Doritos, E-Trade, Mini Cooper and Bridgestone.

GoDaddy and Kia joined Lipton Brisk, HomeAway and Hyundai at the bottom of the Review.

“The Super Bowl is the biggest live event for reaching the widest audience of consumers,” said Associate Professor of Marketing Derek D. Rucker, who also leads the Review. “Some advertisers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Bud Light integrated social media campaigns to extend their $3 million investments beyond a 30-second spot. However, while their campaigns were robust, the Super Bowl spots ranked in the middle of our results.”

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is widely regarded as a global leader in management education. The school, with locations in Evanston, Ill., Chicago and Miami, is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the globe. The Kellogg School’s academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs, the Ph.D. Program, and the nondegree Executive Education Program. The school offers two joint-degree programs: the JD-MBA and the MMM (MBA-MEM). Additionally, the Kellogg School of Management has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada.

To learn more about the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/news/superbowl. For more information about the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

2010 Results

A B C D F
Google

Audi

Denny's

Volkswagen

Dodge

Snickers
Doritos

HomeAway.com

Budweiser

FLO TV

CareerBuilder
Emerald Nuts/Pop Secret

Michelob Ultra

Cars.com

E*TRADE

Coke

Tru TV

Teleflora

Vizio

Motorola

Dante's Inferno

Monster.com

KGB

Intel

Hyundai

Taco Bell
Dr. Pepper

Dove

Go Daddy

Boost Mobile

Kia

Dockers

Roundup

Papa John's

Bridgestone

Skechers

Honda

Focus on the Family
U.S. Census Bureau

The Kellogg School rates Google’s ad the best in Super Bowl XLIV; ads from Focus on the Family and the U.S. Census are ranked the worst

Panel notes three auto advertisers were back in a big way, ranking in the top five

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 7, 2010) - The score is final and the points are tallied — for both the Super Bowl and the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review.

Google earned top marks for its “How to Impress a French Woman” ad, winning the sixth annual ever-popular Review.

“This year’s Super Bowl featured several effective ads, making the Review an exciting learning experience for the students,” said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event. “The overarching goal for Super Bowl advertisers is a successful ad that resonates with their target audience. Based on our framework, Google really embraced the key elements of a winning Super Bowl commercial with both its sentimental and practical execution.”

Google earned the title of champion from the Review panel, which was comprised of MBA students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Google edged out fellow “A” grade advertisers including Denny’s, Audi, Volkswagen, Dodge and Snickers. With three auto spots scoring in the top five, automakers surprised viewers by creating memorable ads that broke through the clutter.

With the pre-game buzz surrounding Focus on the Family for its anti-abortion sentiment and the U.S. Census, which used government dollars, the panel thought the ads fell flat and didn’t live up to the strategic framework. Other advertisers receiving low marks from the panel included Honda and Bridgestone.

Associate Professor of MarketingDerek D. Rucker, who also leads the Review, noted, “Companies now need to leverage the buzz to increase their ROI. Turning the advertising into consumer action is the next step and the best companies know that. The marketing departments will be working overtime for that reason.”

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

2009 Results

A B C D F
Monster.com

Doritos

CareerBuilder

Denny's

E*TRADE
Cheetos

Cars.com

Hyundai

Anheuser-Busch

Pepsi

Taco Bell
Coke

Audi

Hulu

GE

Gatorade

Bridgestone

Cash4Gold

Pedigree

Teleflora

Frosted Flakes
Castrol

Toyota

Vizio

Go Daddy

H&R Block

Sobe Lifewater
(n/a)

Kellogg School of Management ranks Monster.com best, SoBe worst in Super Bowl XLIII

Panel notes that value messages, competitive claims reflect economic pressure

Employment Web site Monster.com earned top marks for its “Need a New Job?” ad, winning the fifth annual Kellogg School of Management Super Bowl Advertising Review. The Super Bowl lineup reflected the country’s economic woes, as some perennial advertisers such as FedEx and GM elected to sit on the sidelines this year, and other advertisers created ads that referenced competitors or communicated value.

“This year’s Super Bowl featured hard-hitting advertising. We had spots with value messages and competitive claims, both of which are unusual in the Super Bowl,” said Kellogg School of Management clinical professor of marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the annual review. “Super Bowl advertisers were clearly trying to drive sales in a soft economy. The game continues to be the single biggest marketing event in the United States, but this year we saw the impact of the weak economy.”

Monster.com earned the title of champion from the Kellogg School Review panel, edging out fellow “A” grade advertisers including competitor CareerBuilder.com, Doritos, E*Trade and Denny’s. In the battle of employment Web sites, Monster.com’s strong showing bested CareerBuilder, which rebounded from a weak showing in last year’s Super Bowl with a relevant, entertaining spot.

The Kellogg School panel had significant strategic concerns about spots from SoBe Lifewater, H&R Block, GoDaddy.com, Vizio and Toyota. Although the 3D experience was intriguing, the Kellogg panel was underwhelmed with the SoBe Lifewater “dancing lizard” spot; the panel noted that the overall messaging was confusing, especially with the addition of characters from motion picture “Monsters Vs. Aliens.”

Assistant professor of marketing Derek Rucker, who also leads the Review, noted, “Consumers don’t have the capacity to remember more than a handful of ads long-term. The ultimate Super Bowl success is when a consumer not only remembers your brand, but is called to action by your ad’s message.”

At $3 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime, the investment appeared to pay off for the panel’s top winners, as well Hyundai, whose Genesis ad scored well due to strong branding. For others, including annual favorite Anheuser-Busch, who ran the most ads during the game, the year’s environment appeared to present challenges.

Unlike other reviews, which may rank ads on likeability alone, the Kellogg School of Management Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

2008 Results

A B C D F
Tide

E*TRADE

Coke

FedEx

Budweiser
Victoria's Secret

Pepsi

T-Mobile

Toyota

Hyundai

Zantac

Taco Bell

Bridgestone

Doritos
Cars.com

White House Drug

Icebreakers

Under-Armour

Sunsilk

Nissan Murano

Gatorade

Planters

Dell

Amp Energy

Go Daddy

Audi

Cargill

Vitamin Water

SoBe Life Water
GM's Yukon Hybrid

CareerBuilder

SalesGenie.com
(n/a)

Kellogg School of Management Ranks Tide best, Sales Genie worst in Super Bowl XLII

Panel gives high marks to smart humor

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 3, 2008) – What do Richard Simmons, James Carville and Justin Timberlake have in common? This year’s Super Bowl advertising featured all three in a showing that offered viewers an equally diverse roster of advertisers competing in the battle for buzz. In the end, Procter & Gamble’s Tide to Go earned the title of champion. The laundry detergent brand earned an A, this year’s highest score, from the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review panel.

“Overall it was a great year for Super Bowl advertising,” said Kellogg School of Management professor Tim Calkins, who leads the Review. “Super Bowl is a unique marketing venue, and many advertisers created appealing spots that resonated with viewers on a broad scale. We saw a lot of creativity and variety tonight.”

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded A’s to four brands: Tide, E-Trade, Coke and FedEx. Tide won with an “entertaining,” “memorable” spot which “clearly communicated the relevant product benefit.” Runner-up E-Trade’s ad was “attention getting” and “funny.” The panel thought Coca-Cola was particularly effective in connecting with their audience. “The top ranked advertisers know their consumers and play to their mindset,” said Calkins. “Coke’s spot with James Carville and Bill Frist was particularly relevant, likable and product-focused.”

The panel had significant concerns about the advertising efforts for the lowest ranked advertisers: SalesGenie.com, CareerBuilder.com and GM’s Yukon brand. Panel members said SalesGenie.com’s ads were “offensive to some,” and lacked a clear description of the site. CareerBuilder.com’s “I Quit” spot received mixed reactions; members of the panel were “turned off” and found the spot “disturbing.”

Professor of marketing Derek Rucker, who leads the Review with Calkins, noted, “Consumers don’t have the capacity to remember more than a handful of ads long term. An ultimate Super Bowl success is when a consumer not only remembers your brand, but is called to action by the ad’s message.”

The 41-member Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review panel ranked each advertiser based on innovative criteria known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on attention, distinction, positioning, linkage, amplification and net equity. Unlike other reviews which may rank ads on likeability alone, the most entertaining spot may not be the panel’s overall winner. This year, the panel members identified E-Trade which received an A, as the most likeable. The brand successfully connected with the audience and communicated its position.

About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is widely recognized as a global leader in management education. The school, located just outside of Chicago, is home to a renowned, research-oriented faculty and MBA students from around the globe. The Kellogg School’s academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs and the nondegree Executive Education Program. The school offers three joint-degree programs: the JD-MBA, MD-MBA and the Master of Management and Manufacturing (MBA-MEM). Additionally, the Kellogg School offers an Executive MBA Program in Miami and has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada. To learn more, visit www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

2007 Results

A B C D F
Sprint

Blockbuster

Snickers

FedEx

Budweiser
Taco Bell

Toyota

Emerald Nuts

CareerBuilder

Coca-Cola
KFC

Doritos

Snapple

NFL

GM

Chevrolet

E*TRADE

T-Mobile

Flomax

Go Daddy

Nationwide
Revlon

Frito-Lay

Sierra Mist

Shick

Washington Mutual

Prudential

Van Heusen

Motorola

Honda

ING Direct
HP

King Pharmaceuticals

Izod

Salesgenie.com

Garmin

Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review scores Sprint best, Garmin worst of Super Bowl XLI ads

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 4, 2007) – K-Fed serving up fries. Amateur commercial directors. But no monkeys in suits. This year’s Super Bowl ads offered “safe” humor, and Sprint came away with the win. The telecommunications giant earned an A with this year’s highest score from the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. The panel scored Garmin the lowest.

“Super Bowl advertisers played it safe this year,” said Kellogg School of Management Clinical Professor Tim Calkins, who spearheaded the Review. “We did not see a lot of risk-taking even though several advertisers, like Frito-Lay, experimented with consumer-generated content. In the end, the brands that did the best were able to entertain while delivering a clear product message.”

During Super Bowl XLI, advertisers paid up to $2.6 million for a 30-second chance to debut innovative commercials in front of America’s largest audience. For the third year, marketing faculty and members of the Kellogg Marketing Club convened in Evanston, Ill., to watch the event, rate the advertisements on a series of predetermined criteria and produce a final ranking of the most – and least – successful ads from this year’s Super Bowl.

The panel’s favorite individual ads were Anheuser-Busch’s “Wedding” and “No Speak English” spots for Bud Light. “With an image-based category such as beer, Bud Light does a great job of grabbing a consumer’s attention and reinforcing their branding,” said Kellogg second-year student Rachel Zlotoff.

“Advertisers look for the Monday morning water-cooler effect, the ad everybody’s still talking about the next day,” said Calkins. “Advertisements are a business tool, and while they may be entertaining, they also need to convey a message or direction. It’s not very impactful if you’re laughing but don’t remember who made you laugh or why.”

Five advertisers, listed alphabetically, were awarded a grade of “A” by the Kellogg School Review panel: Blockbuster, Budweiser, FedEx, Snickers and Sprint. Sprint was the highest ranked advertiser, followed by Blockbuster. The panel thought Blockbuster was particularly effective in reaching consumers in one of the first commercials aired. “The top-ranked advertisers delivered on branding and creativity and you can see where it paid off,” said Calkins.

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “B” to five advertisers: CareerBuilder.com, Coca-Cola, Emerald Nuts, Taco Bell and Toyota.

The panel felt the advertising efforts for the lowest-ranked advertisers did not meet the criteria of a successful ad: Hewlett-Packard, Garmin, Izod, King Pharmaceuticals, and SalesGenie.com. These ads failed to break through in the highly competitive Super Bowl advertising environment.

The 34-member panel ranked each advertiser based on the following criteria: breakthrough, branding, likeability and persuasiveness.

ABOUT TIM CALKINS
A clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School since 1998, Calkins teaches the courses in marketing strategy and branding, and acts as co-academic director of the school’s branding program. Each year, he provides a well-received Super Bowl advertising review for students, Kellogg School alumni and Harvard Business School alumni. Calkins is co-editor of Kellogg on Branding (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) and the author of numerous Kellogg case studies.

Prior to his academic career, Professor Calkins worked at Kraft Foods for nearly 11 years. He stays connected to the private sector today by consulting for major corporations around the world on marketing strategy and branding issues, and is the managing director of Class 5 Consulting, a marketing strategy firm

ABOUT THE KELLOGG MARKETING CLUB
The students serving on the panel belong to the Kellogg Marketing Club, which provides students with academic, recruiting and networking assistance to prepare for marketing careers.

ABOUT THE KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is widely recognized as a global leader in graduate business education. The school, located outside of Chicago, is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the globe. The Kellogg School includes the Full-time, Part-time and Executive MBA programs and the non-degreed Executive Education Program. The school offers three joint degree programs: the JD-MBA, MD-MBA and MEM-MBA. Additionally, the Kellogg School of Management has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia and Canada.

2006 Results

A B C D F
Dove

CareerBuilder

Mastercard

Budweiser/Bud Light

Diet Pepsi

Michelob
Sprint

Sharpie

Ford

Disney

FedEx
Sierra Mist

Toyota

Aleve

Westin

Degree

Ameriquest

Air Tran

Mobile ESPN

Outback

Honda

NFL

AT&T

PS

Slimfast

Hummer

United

Taco Bell

Overstock

Gillette

Burger King

Cadillac
Go Daddy

Fidelity

Nationwide

Hyundai

Motorola

Emerald Nuts
(n/a)

Dove, CareerBuilder.com Best in Super Bowl XL Advertising, according to Kellogg School of Management Faculty and MBA Students

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 5, 2006) – While the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate their Super Bowl XL victory, some advertisers are celebrating a victory of their own. Dove scored the highest among students and faculty ranking ads at the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review.

“Despite the upcoming Olympics, the Super Bowl continued to attract top advertisers this year,” said Kellogg School of Management Clinical Associate Professor Tim Calkins, who spearheaded the Review. “As always, some brands came through as obvious winners, because they met the mark on key factors such as branding, strength and creativity. There were also advertisers that fell short.”

During Super Bowl XL, advertisers paid up to $2.6 million for a 30-second chance to debut innovative commercials in front of America 's largest audience. For the second year, marketing faculty and members of the Kellogg Marketing Club convened in Evanston, Ill., to watch the event, rate the advertisers on a series of predetermined criteria and produce a final ranking of the most – and least – successful efforts from this year's Super Bowl.

Six advertisers, listed alphabetically, were awarded a grade of “A” by the Kellogg School Review panel: Budweiser/Bud Light, CareerBuilder.com, Diet Pepsi, Dove, MasterCard and Michelob. Dove was the highest ranked advertiser, followed by CareerBuilder.com. “The Dove spot was not a typical Super Bowl commercial, but it really broke through,” said Calkins. “CareerBuilder.com continued with the chimps campaign launched at last year's Super Bowl, but they strengthened delivery of the core message – CareerBuilder.com has more jobs.” Bud Light's “Magic Fridge” ad was the strongest individual spot on this year's Super Bowl.

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “B” to five advertisers: Disney, FedEx, Ford, Sharpie and Sprint.

The panel had significant concerns about the advertising efforts for the lowest ranked advertisers: Emerald Nuts, Fidelity, GoDaddy.com, Motorola and Nationwide. The students felt these ads did not break through creatively, or featured unclear messaging or branding.

The 35-member panel ranked each advertiser based on the following criteria: breakthrough, branding, likeability and persuasiveness.

About Tim Calkins
A clinical associate professor of marketing at the Kellogg School since 1998, Calkins teaches courses in marketing strategy and acts as co-academic director of the school's branding program. Each year, he provides a well-received Super Bowl advertising review for students, Kellogg School alumni and Harvard Business School alumni. Calkins is co-editor of Kellogg on Branding (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) and the author of numerous Kellogg case studies.

Prior to his academic career, Professor Calkins worked at Kraft Foods for nearly 11 years. He stays connected to the private sector today by consulting for major corporations around the world on marketing strategy and branding issues, and is the managing director of Class 5 Consulting, a marketing strategy firm.

About the Kellogg Marketing Club
The students serving on the panel belong to the Kellogg Marketing Club, which provides students with academic, recruiting and networking assistance to prepare for marketing careers.

About the Kellogg School of Management
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was founded in 1908 and is widely recognized as a global leader in graduate business education. The school, located outside of Chicago, is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the globe. The Kellogg School includes the Full-time, Part-time and Executive MBA programs and the non-degreed Executive Education Program. The school offers three joint degree programs: the JD-MBA, MD-MBA and MEM-MBA. Additionally, the Kellogg School of Management has alliances with business schools in Europe, Asia and Canada.

The Kellogg-Miami EMBA Program uses the same successful methods that are the foundation of the existing Kellogg School North American EMBA programs held on the Northwestern University campus. The Kellogg School also offers joint-degree EMBA programs in partnership with established universities around the world that will interface with the Miami program. In addition to its Executive MBA programs, the Kellogg School offers full-time and part-time MBA programs and a non-degreed Executive Education program.

2005 Results

A B C D F
Emerald Nuts

Tabasco

MasterCard

Pepsi (Pepsi and Diet Pepsi)

Toyota Prius
Bud Light/Budweiser

CareerBuilder

FedEx

Novartis Ciba Vision

Olympus Imaging
Ameriquest Mortgage Co.

Cadillac

Cialis

Ford Mustang

Honda

Lays

McDonald's

Michelob

Napster

Quiznos

Staples

SUBWAY

Taco Bell

Verizon Wireless

Visa

Volvo
Bubblicious

Degree deodorant

Consentino/Silestone

Go Daddy

MBNA
(n/a)

Kellogg School of Management Faculty and MBA Students Rank Toyota Prius Best; Pepsi Second in Super Bowl Advertising Review

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 7, 2005) – The New England Patriots may have won Super Bowl XXXIX, but Toyota Prius scored highest with the students and faculty at the world’s No. 1 business school, according to the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review panel.

“As always, the Super Bowl featured a mixed bag of advertising,” said Kellogg School of Management Clinical Associate Professor Tim Calkins, who spearheaded the Review. “There were some clear winners this year and also some big misses.”

As major corporations and lesser-known startups agreed to pay an average of $2.4 million for a 30-second chance to debut innovative commercials in front of America’s largest audience, marketing faculty and MBA students from the Kellogg School Marketing Club convened at the Kellogg School to watch the event, rate the advertisements on a series of predetermined criteria and produce a final ranking of the most – and least – successful advertisers from this year’s Super Bowl.

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “A” to five advertisers, listed alphabetically: Emerald Nuts, MasterCard, Pepsi (Pepsi and Diet Pepsi), Tabasco and Toyota Prius. Toyota was the highest ranked advertiser, followed by Pepsi. The panel thought the Pepsi and iTunes promotion was particularly effective. “All these advertisers produced spots that broke through creatively, were well branded and communicated a clear benefit,” said Calkins.

The Kellogg School Review panel awarded a grade of “B” to five advertisers: Bud Light, Careerbuilder.com, FedEx, Novartis Ciba Vision and Olympus. “While the single strongest ad in this year’s Super Bowl was Bud Light’s “Parachuting” spot, the other Bud Light spots were not as strong,” stated Calkins.

The lowest ranked advertisers were Bubblicious, Silestone, Degree deodorant, GoDaddy.com and MBNA. The panel had significant concerns about each of these advertising efforts. They thought Silestone, MBNA and Bubblicious were poorly branded, and Degree did not deliver a benefit linked to the product. Many members of the panel were not sure what GoDaddy.com was selling.

The panel ranked each advertiser based on the following criteria: breakthrough, branding, persuasiveness and likeability.

Kellogg on Branding

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